Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Regiment de La Reine and Canadian Milita

Finally finished up basing on my new (and last) French regiment - La Reine.  I also now have two units of Canadian Militia and a leader so I took some photos of them as well (even though I think I included them in another post - but I did this just to show small units using my new picture taking knowledge).

The La Reine regiment uses all Conquest Miniatures (Warlord Games).  The Canadian Militia is a mix of Galloping Major Miniatures and North Star Military Figures.

Having learned something useful about my camera over the weekend I set about using this new found knowledge to take these pictures using some different lighting.  I now see why having a "natural" light bulb is critical (vs. the yellowish light of standard bulbs).

Actually, this one little tip has served to change everything for my picture taking ability.  I'm still nowhere near pro, but this one is key.  I have a Nikon D3000 SLR camera.  I'm a meat head when it comes to cameras so I'll attempt to explain this in my own terms.  There are two key things you need to do on the camera itself:

  1. Adjust the "picture mode" knob to "A" (means aperture).  To date I had used auto and the flower (called "macro") - with and without the flash - not good for what I was attempting to accomplish (that "depth with clarity" in the pictures).
  2. When in the aperture setting, you can adjust the "F" setting.  My default F setting is 5.6 - whole insufficient for shooting pictures of miniatures.  The F setting adjusts how much light (exposure) will be taken when the picture clicks.  Now, the more light you let in (the higher the F setting number), the more light, and generally as a result, the longer the exposure time. For standard 4x6 foot tables it was recommended to start with an F setting of 22 (a far cry from 5.6!).  To adjust the F setting on my camera I need to rotate my wheel located at the top-right side of the back of my camera (it is used to adjust other settings as well - like the flash setting for example).
Now, since the exposure is going to be longer than the quick click that most of us are used to it is critical to keep the camera dead still.  This will require a tripod of some sort and the usage of the picture delay (my delay is 10 seconds).  The reason for using the delay is to give yourself time to click the picture button (causing the camera to move) and allow the camera to settle and be dead steady for the exposure.  Note that exposures can take many seconds ... so be patient and make sure the camera doesn't move until you hear the second shudder snap.

Regiment de La Reine
(just using sunlight coming in from the garage door being open)

Another angle - showing depth. Again with the natural
sunlight coming in from the garage door.

The garage door is now closed, this is the light
from the ceiling lights.

Room lights with my painting lamp pointed at the front
of the unit - it uses a natural light bulb.

Another angle using the natural light bulb lamp.

Canadian Militia unit #1.

Canadian Militia unit #2.

Canadian Militia unit leader.

And there you have it.  Clearly I have more I can learn (no doubt about that on any topic) - but a big step forward.  I saw the pictures the Wargames Illustrated lad had taken of my M&T demo games and the depth and clarity of the game pictures was just astounding.

I hope you all find this useful -- I never had the patience to really dig through learning all there is to know about photography - I wish I met this guy many years ago and got this tip!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Jay - more splendid work from Artmaster Studio :-)

  2. Hey, I'm from Stewiacke, Nova Scotia! I went to Saint Mary's!
    I began wargamming when I was 10. Most of my stuff is Airfix, Italeri, Esci, Revell, RAFM for metals, and since living in Japan, Zeveda, and Mars.

    1. Very cool, small world! I've been through Stewiacke many times. Likewise, my father was a wargamer so I was started early (9 or 10 as I recall). We had lots of the plastic Airfix for Napoleonic's and WW2 ... with paper buildings color using crayons ... oh how the gaming standards have changed :-)

  3. Yes, when I get homesick, I go for KFC. My house was just down the road from the KFC, Timmies and Petro-Can, and Dairy Queen
    Feel free to check out my blog on wargamming and life in Japan, plus my youtube channel Japanese highlander